Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Friday, July 3, 2020

Only Teddy...

Every morning without fail, I open the feed bin, turn for the bucket, turn back and I will find Teddy head first in the grain. I usually take the scoop and fill the feed bucket working around old Teddy.

I just don't have the heart to close the gate on him. It's as if the grain in the bin taste so much better than the hay in the feed dishes. 

I fill the buckets for the others and he's still going at it! I save some for him and put his portion in the trough. Once that's done he takes his focus and locks it right onto the new grain that has been poured, as if that's even better  He is so predictable this guy.

I got this shot of Teddy and it just sums him up...munching away with not a care in the world. Only Teddy, you gotta love him!

Monday, June 29, 2020

What do you do?

What do you do when your one year old Lavender Orphington rooster decides he's going to start being a jerk and make a run for you say? You pick him up, carry him around and give him kisses! This can usually break them of that male driven protectiveness. You have to change their mind into self protection, not protecting the girls. If they associate you with contact they don't want, this can usually change the way they see you.
One thing that saddens me is when I see people who don't understand this behavior or how to break it and the young rooster will be destined for the soup pot or rehomed. This can take a one time solution or a few but eventually he will get it!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Trouble in the Barnyard

Look at this face, warm, sweet, beautiful...nope he's a trouble maker! Lately the once sweet Norman has taken to being quite the leader of trouble in the barnyard! He is currently 10 years old and we are quite baffled at what is prompting it. Has he realized that being a nice guy gets him no where? Has he decided that he is getting older and needs to start sowing some wild oats? Is he going through a mid age crisis? Is he bored with the way of life around here? Who knows? But it better stop! 

Lately he picks someone to pick on and it's on, but he has decided to form a gang! Cyrus on the left, with Norman center and Awan on the right! Yeah this isn't happening guys! No violence on the farm! 

So, currently Winchester (left) and Teddy (right) are separated from the marauding gang of 2 and their leader! These 2 are the most gentle souls we have here. Garth who is not pictured has decided to stay away from it all and I find him on the hill holding sentry duty as he should, not getting involved. If this continues we may need to get the Vet out here to take away one trouble makers trouble making things that may or may not be causing this!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Blending fibery goodness~!

In the time I have had while out of work, I've been putting this time in to get through my fiber stash. I had a beautiful black Icelandic fleece that I picked up last November at the New England Fiber Festival. It was soft but a bit coarse all at the same time. So it needed a blend that would keep the beautiful colors in but compliment it all at the same time. I chose a black angora rabbit fleece and combined it with some white alpaca to give it a nice soft texture and add some color differences. It has true black, grays of different shades and white.

These two photos don't really give the Icelandic fleece justice in it's beauty!

After the blend! It is so beautiful! This was pulling the first blend off of the drum carder, it beat my expectations!

I wish pictures gave a see and touch mode, it is so soft and so pretty! 

Trying to get it in the light, honestly I am so pleased!

So now to decide what to do with it, spin it up or bag it for sale as a spinning fleece or make punis out of it, hmmmm decisions, decisions! One thing I do know, as of right now the New England Fiber Festival is planning to go on as scheduled in November (see our schedule on the sidebar), it will be there for purchase, possibly in many forms!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Twisted together...

My favorite boy "Teddy" and...
the always mighty "Awan"...
and their amazing fiber...

each twisted into it's own yarn...

have come together to make one of my favorite yarns!

Plyed onto a spool...

to make this incredibly soft and natural colored yarn. 
Sadly the camera does not do the colors justice here. During this down time I have been spinning between all the other Spring tasks while still working from home. We are still holding out hope that the New England Fiber Festival in Massachusetts will still go on as schedule. Yesterday the NY Sheep and Wool Festival announced they are cancelling their October show, fingers crossed for the November show to go on as scheduled. We have taken a huge hit with Covid19 as many other farms have.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Working for the farm today

There was suspicion in the barn yard this morning, they knew something was up and sent Awan out to check it out. It was shearing day and they quickly figured it out. It's old hat for them as we figured out that this is our 12th year of shearing!

Our shearers, Jeremiah (left) and Rick (right) arrived promptly at 8:00 am and went right to work. The usual screaming, spitting, kicking went on while some just took their shearing with grace like Pru and Maddie.

They have their summer do's, paid the shearers and went right to work...

on this! While they took all our fleeces for this year and last for processing, they brought the past two years of Teddy! I got right to work!
I made kits and got some of the fiber right on the spinning wheel to be plyed with a darker alpaca. Stay tuned for some new wool and 
fiber blending combinations for some new yarns!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Our little farm hands...what could happen?

Our little farm hands, Scarlett and Noah were here for a day of fun on the farm. Here they are so excited to go in and collect eggs from the chickens. What could happen when a 4 and 3 year old collect eggs you ask? Well...

Scarlett gives Grandpa her eggs as he waits at the bottom of the hill. "Here you go Grandpa" was heard. She was so proud of her eggs as she handed them off. She has been working very hard on her fear of the chickens.

Here Noah gives "Uncle" his proudly collected eggs. He was confident and sure of his skill as an egg collector! Not a word muttered as he handed over his days collection.

Soooooooo, when you get cracked eggs, you make scrambled eggs, right?!!!!! We will need to work on our finesse on how we gently place the eggs in the basket. They had fun and their pride in their daily choir was so cute.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Celebrating World Bee Day!

Happy World Bee Day! A day put aside for the world to recognize the importance of our pollinator, the bee! To honor the day I decided to do I quick inspection and check how all were doing. This was quite interesting as I inspected Hive #5, I noticed they re building comb tilted upwards slightly. It's actually sideways but still interesting to see them building comb in a slightly elevated direction.

My goal today was to mark the queens and I grabbed this new queen marking cage I bought last year. It is a wonderful tool in theory but failed to keep the queen in a stationary position to mark. It was like marking a moving target. It was easier to get her in to but did not give you the ability to keep her in position to mark.

So needless to say, she was marked on her back and her wings! I am not happy and may not attempt to mark them any longer. So, Happy World Bee Day everyone! Remember to treat our pollinators well, our food system relies on them!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Repurposing for a cause

As I added another hive to our apiary, the equipment I had on hand sufficed, except one component. I really love these top feeders which were put out by Brushy Mountain Bee Company that has gone out of business. I put a post up on some local beekeeping sites that I was looking for a couple of these and got responses. Some as far as South Carolina, but I was looking for more local. A man responded that he had two he didn't want so Tim drove me down to meet him. They were exactly what I was looking for. They are a little weathered but with a little TLC, they would look great in no time. 

A couple coats of paint and they look good as new!

Placed on top of this hive and we are ready to go! This hive is empty, as we often do in the event we get a swarm call or one of our hives decides they are going to swarm. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Movin' on up!

Well it was time, time for the babies to move up to one of the chicken coops. They were quickly running out of room in the brooder.  Autumn was quite concerned and supervised every moment of the move. Nothing goes awry under her watch!

Here is Autumn as if to say," blah more animals to watch over!"

It appears out of the Black Copper Marans we have one rooster. Out of 4 that's good! I was worried we would have 4 roosters due to straight run. At first I thought it was 2 and 2 so I am pleased with the stats! These are beautiful chickens and our first feathered legged ones!

They are set up for comfort, food, water and their chick plate to keep warm at night. They will have more than ample room to grow and will spend the next month at least in this space before they can go into a small run area. Last years chicks have been kicked out of this one and moved to the larger coop, they were not too happy, but by day two they know where to roost and lay their eggs now. I am finding random eggs in weird places but that too will pass.

In they went, they were a little afraid for the time being of their new surroundings but once I closed the door and opened the window I saw them peaking out. They are fascinated with the older chickens. The legbars are in front here, they are sure turning out beautiful. The others are hiding behind the Marans, but in no time they are adjusting. Tim is happy to get his work bench back too!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Taking a trip to my dream place!

Today I put on my mask and ventured out to complete a life goal. I am always too busy, something comes up, we have to go somewhere, farm chores are building up or help someone and I decided to use this time to do things I wouldn't be able to do. Also driving anywhere is very stressful for me. I have dreamed to go to Gilbertie's Herb Farm in Westport, CT. I was watching something lately and the person said, during this time of quarantine, get to things you wouldn't normally be able to get to, so I decided to go somewhere I wouldn't normally be able to go to.  So off I went!

I arrived and was so excited to see this sign!

The greenhouses were amazing! Filled with every herb you can imagine! I never knew there were so many varieties of Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary just to name a few! It's not like I am new to herbs, I was once in a study group for many years and would frequent a local herb farm when it was open in my town. I love herbs, they are purposeful and have so many uses. 

Never have I ever seen a Basil like this! Lettuce Leaf Basil, who knew?!!!

I fell in love with this sign! I may have to make something like this one!

Who knew there were so many varieties of Rosemary!!!

Another Greenhouse to explore!

A whole section of Fairy Garden accessories! Such cute things!

They had a store with the most incredible and unique things in it! 

OMG! This raccoon statuary was so adorable!

To sum up my trip to Gilbertie's, I saw every herb from A...

to Y since there is no herb that starts with Z! I was so thrilled to finally visit this place. It was truly a dream and I will be back! Of course there are some things that I wish I had gotten so you never know!